5 Things I Look For in a YA Fantasy

5 THINGS I LOOK FOR IN Young Adult Contemporary (1)

Hey Bookworms!

Since last time I let you know what I look for in a YA contemporary, I thought I would do the same for me favorite genre! I would say my reading is 75% fantasy/SFF and 25% contemporary. I wouldn’t call myself a fantasy expert in the least, but I do know what I like when it comes to a fantasy novel!

Not all the fantasy novels I read must have all these requirements (I mean it would be nice, but life doesn’t work that way), but at least it should have 2 to 3 of them. So let’s just dive right in shall we?

Continue reading 5 Things I Look For in a YA Fantasy

5 Things I Look For in a YA Contemporary

5 THINGS I LOOK FOR IN Young Adult Contemporary

Hey Bookworms!

As you probably know from following me that I generally prefer to read fantasy and sci-fi novels. But time and time again I need to let my brain take a break from new worlds, wondrous magic and battles of epic proportion. That’s when I turn to the contemporary genre in all it’s glorious real life story-telling.

I won’t just read any contemporary though. There are certain specifications that I look for from the synopsis, and other reader’s reviews. I thought it would be a fun idea and list what it is I look for before I pick up a YA contemporary!

Continue reading 5 Things I Look For in a YA Contemporary

Here I Am, Back from Paris (and Other Countries/Cities)

Hey guys!

Today marks the day that I am officially back in Toronto after a long three week vacation back packing trip through Europe! Over those three weeks I was able to visit seven countries and ten cities. It’s suffice to say that I am exhausted and glad to be back to a regular routine.

The hardest part about being back is now I have to play catch up. I have blog posts to write, reviews to write, and more books and ARC’s to read. It’s going to be hectic over the next little while, but I’m going to try my best to get things done!

Bear with me for a little while guys!

Until next time,

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Introducing My New Guest Blogger: Nicole!

Guest-Blogger

Hey guys!

I hope your weekends are going well and you’re having a great time doing what you’re doing! I wanted to take this time to introduce to you guys a new guest blogger that I will be having on my blog for a permanent basis from now on.

She is none other than my big sister, Nicole! Just like me she is an avid reader that loves the mystery/thriller genre as well as historical fiction. From now on, Nicole will be posting reviews on the ARC’s and books that she’s reading. I’m hoping this will broaden my genre reach as I typically review books in the YA/Fantasy genres.

So if you enjoy adult fiction in the mystery/thriller/historical genres, then stay tuned for some awesome reviews to come your way!

Without further ado, here is my sister:

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NicoleMy name is Nicole Marques!

I am married to Richard, who is the love of my life, and I am a mother to two beautiful children, Gabriel and Emily. Without these three-amazing people in my life, I would have lost the battle a long time ago. We are currently living back in our hometown Toronto, Ontario after living two short years in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I love watching home renovations shows – I’m actually addicted! I enjoy watching TV in general, shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Blue Bloods, This Is Us, Two Broke Girls. And yes, I have some guilty pleasures, Talk Shows, all of them! OH! And who doesn’t watch Say Yes to The Dress?! GUILTY!

Diverse Books TBR 2017

diverse-books-2017

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to bring to your attention some of the diverse books that are on my radar and the ones I am looking forward to reading the most. I hope I chose a good variety; touching across genres.

Of course there are some that I may have missed. So with your help I would love to here about them in the comments below, or you can tweet them to me! I hope you enjoy my list! I’ve linked them to their GoodReads, Amazon, and Indigo sites where applicable.


FANTASY / SCI-FI

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Buried HeartThe explosive finale to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s captivating, New York Times bestselling young adult series

In this third book in the epic Court of Fives series, Jessamy is the crux of a revolution forged by the Commoner class hoping to overthrow their longtime Patron overlords. But enemies from foreign lands have attacked the kingdom, and Jes must find a way to unite the Commoners and Patrons to defend their home and all the people she loves. Will her status as a prominent champion athlete be enough to bring together those who have despised one another since long before her birth? Will she be able to keep her family out of the clutches of the evil Lord Gargaron? And will her relationship with Prince Kalliarkos remain strong when they find themselves on opposite sides of a war? Find all the answers in this beautifully written and exciting conclusion to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s debut New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy!

Reasons:

  • All characters are POC
  • LGBTQ+ character

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Flame in the MistThe daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters / Set in Feudal Japan
  • POC author

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

A Crown of WishesGauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Before She IgnitesBefore

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Forest of a Thousand LanternsEighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters / East Asian Inspired
  • POC author

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

The Library of FatesNo one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Reasons:

  • POC main characters / Indian Folklore Inspired
  • POC author

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Even the Darkest StarsSet in a fictional Himalayan kingdom, this is the story of a girl enlisted by a legendary explorer to help him climb the kingdom’s deadliest mountain – only to discover that his true mission may threaten her whole world.

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer every known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means cimbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters

Warcross by Marie Lu

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

WarcrossFor the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Empress of a Thousand SkiesCROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA’AN WANTS VENGEANCE.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

CONTEMPORARY

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

The Hate U GiveSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

When Dimple Met RishiDimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

They Both Die at the EndIn the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, this tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut the New York Times called “profound,” reminds us that there’s no life without death, no love without loss—and that it’s possible to change your whole world in a day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news is: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—an unforgettable day that will change both their lives forever.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • LGBTQ+ characters

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

I Believe in a Thing Called LoveDesi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life.

She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Ramona Blue By Julie Murphy

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Ramona BlueRamona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

Reasons:

  • LGBTQ+ Characters

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

American StreetOn the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

Dear MartinJustyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In that media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

The Education of Margot SanchezTHINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

starfishKiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

GoodReads / Amazon / Indigo

It's Not Like It's a SecretSixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

Reasons:

  • POC main characters
  • POC author
  • LGBTQ+ characters

Well there you have it. Let me know if you guys are looking forward to any the titles I’ve listed or suggest to me some of titles I may have missed. Hope you enjoyed yourself!

Until next time,

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[2017] Happy New Year + a Thank You!

happy-new-year

Hey guys!

I hope wherever you are in the world you are having a blessed day in more ways than one! I just wanted to take the time to wish you all the warmest of wishes as we begin a new year together. For many, including myself, 2016 was a rough patch. But we came out on the other side stronger and with more passion to make 2017 better!

I want to thank all of you that has shown me and my blog, Books at Dawn so much love this past year. It really means a lot to me to be on this bookish journey with all of you. Thank you to my Toronto blogging squad, my international blogging friends, my regular commenters and readers, and to all the new ones!

Let’s make this year great! I believe in us!!

Until next time,

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Holiday Gift Guide: Fantasy / Sci-Fi Lovers

holiday-gift-guide

Hey guys!

Welcome to the Holiday Gift Guide: 2017 Edition! I thought it would be a fun opportunity to help you guys out this holidays with gift ideas for your book loving friends and family!

Today is: Holiday Gift Guide – Fantasy / Sci-Fi Lovers

There have been amazing fantasy and sci-fi books that were released this year that would make perfect gifts for your friends or family (or yourself, let’s be honest). Let’s take a look at the ones that should be at the top of your buying list this holidays!


Morning Star

Morning StarDarrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

Book 1: Red Rising

Book 2: Golden Son

Reasons to Buy:

  • Conclusion to an EPIC series.
  • Masterful world/universe building.
  • Complex and diverse characters.

Boy Robot

Boy RobotSeventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.

There once was a boy who was made, not created.

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.

His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.

An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.

Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.

He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.

To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.

Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.

Reasons to Buy:

  • DIVERSITY +++.
  • Tons of action and adventure.
  • Start of a fun and exciting series.

Fate of Flames

Fate of FlamesYears ago, everything changed. Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time four girls, the Effigies, appeared, each with the unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.

When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.

But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity is more important than their heroism.

But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…

Reasons to Buy:

  • For fans of Sailor Moon and Last Airbender!
  • Diverse cast of characters.
  • Action and adventure around every corner.

 

 

Truthwitch

TruthwitchIn a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Friendship goals.
  • Fun and exciting world.
  • Amazing character growth!

 

Queen of Hearts

Queen of HeartsAs Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Reasons to Buy:

  • For fans of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Great character growth.
  • A fun look into the world of Wonderland before Alice gets there.

 

The Darkest Magic

The Darkest MagicModern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca’s spirit to Ancient Mytica–the same book that their enemies would kill them for.

Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down.

Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca–and the remarkable book in their possession.

New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with volume two of the Book of Spirits and Thieves series, an epic contemporary saga perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.

Book 1: A Book of Spirits and Thieves

A Book of Spirits and Thieves

Reasons to Buy:

  • For fans of the Falling Kingdoms series!
  • Secrets, lies, and deceit in every chapter.
  • Great companion series.

Poisoned Blade

Poisoned BladeIn this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s captivating young adult debut, a girl immersed in high-stakes competition holds the fate of a kingdom in her hands.

Now a Challenger, Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives–the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons alike. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes’s only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos–the prince she still loves–is fighting against their country’s enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal’s life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion…. She must become a warrior.

Book 1: Court of Fives

Court of Fives

Reasons to Buy:

  • Diverse characters and world.
  • Masterful world building.
  • Action and adventure around every corner.

I hope this gives you guys some fun bookish gift ideas to get all your friends and families this holiday!

Until next time,

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Holiday Gift Guide: Etsy Edition

holiday-gift-guide

Hey guys!

Welcome to the Holiday Gift Guide: 2017 Edition! I thought it would be a fun opportunity to help you guys out this holidays with gift ideas for your book loving friends and family!

Today is: Holiday Gift Guide – Etsy Edition

I think we can all safely say that buying cute handmade crafts and items are a guilty pleasure. It is for me at least. Especially when they are bookish goodies! I wanted to take the time to highlight some of my favorite Etsy stores that specialize in bookish themed products, such as bookmarks, candles and my newest obsession: book covers!

(Click the header images to hop over to the shop!)


Happy Hello Co.

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Happy Hello Co. sells some of the most cute magnetic bookmarks out there! I love the cute chibi style art the owner uses for all the familiar characters we all have come to love. I’m not afraid to say that I own more than a few sets! Take a look at what they have to offer:

They offer a variety of different styles of magnetic bookmarks for all book lovers to enjoy, and all at such reasonable prices too! They will make the perfect holiday gift this year.

Beedoo. TO

BeeDoo. TO

BeeDoo. TO not only offers fun handmade magnetic bookmarks, but also stickers for the yearly planners I know you all have! If you’re like me then you can’t get enough stickers. It has become quite the newest obsession of mine. Check out what I’m talking about:

Just gimme all the stickers please! With such fair and reasonably low prices, you can’t go wrong buying these for some perfect holiday gifts!

BOOKBEAU

BOOKBEAU

The BOOKBEAU is the greatest invention since ice cream! I hate carrying around my books in my bag for fear of ruining their pretty pretty covers. Speaking from experience, it is a painful ordeal to go through. But that problem is solved with these fantastic book covers! Take a look:

I cannot live without my BOOKBEAU, and you shouldn’t have to either! For only $30, you too can protect your lovely books.

Frostbeard

Frostbeard

For the love of all things bookish and fragrant, Frostbeard provides your sense of smell with the loveliest soy candles to burn while you read. With a variety of scents to choose from with wonderfully witty bookish names, your nose will not know what hit it! Check it out some of my favourite scents:

Your reading experience will never be the same once you light one of these bad boys! Go grab yours now!

NerdyGrlDesigns

NerdyGrlDesigns

NerdyGrlDesigns adds a new spin on the magnetic bookmark craze. I love their art so much it makes my heart hurt. They have the perfect sets to choose from this holiday season. Take a look:

I WANT THEM ALL OK? Great quality, fantastic prices, and amazing artwork. I highly recommend getting your next holiday gift from them!


I hope this gives you guys some fun bookish gift ideas to get all your friends and families this holiday!

Until next time,

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Top Summer 2016 Reads!

Top Summer 2016 Reads

Hey guys!

Sorry to break it to you guys, but summer is almost over! I know… shocking. But hey, with the end of summer, comes autumn, which means better fashion, cooler weather, and everything pumpkin flavored! Over the summer I had the pleasure of reading some truly awesome books, and the ones that stood out to me the most, I would like to share with you all.


Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Morning StarDarrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Ending to the one of the best trilogies ever written!
  • Expansive Sci-Fi world-building.
  • Fantastic, well fleshed out characters.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

We Are the AntsThere are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Makes you really think long and hard about your life.
  • Heartbreaking but beautiful.
  • Characters you can’t help but feel for.

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Court of FivesOn the Fives court, everyone is equal.

And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.

Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • EPIC high fantasy.
  • Diverse characters (not a single white character)
  • Fantastic writing and world building!

Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman

Empire of DustIn Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust.

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon’s undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Inspired by real history.
  • Huge cast of fun characters.
  • Magic, battles, and a cute prince!

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage SongThere’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • A story about monsters!
  • Great life lessons.
  • Dark, gritty, and evil.

Well there you have it, my Top Summer Reads of 2016! Let me know what books you really enjoyed this Summer or if you read any of the ones I’ve listed here.

Until next time,

Sig New

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Sorting Characters into Hogwarts Houses | #PotterheadJuly

potterheadjuly-ravenclaw

Hey guys!

In honor of the newest Harry Potter installment, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child coming out at the end of the month, my good friend Aentee from Read at Midnight created a whole month of fun Harry Potter related activities. As I am an avid fan of the movies (not quite finished with the books yet), I decided to take part in it.

My fun Harry Potter related post is The Sorting! I will be taking characters from wildly popular YA series’ and sorting them into Hogwarts Houses. I had so much fun making this list, and I hope you enjoy and agree with my choices!


Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms

GryffindorPrincess Cleo

Cleo is brave and daring. She doesn’t rely on a man to come save the day. She takes matters into her own hands and makes sure she does so with dignity and pride.

 

SlytherinPrince Magnus

Magnus is cunning and has strong ambitions. He does everything in his power to please his father, all while trying to not end up like him. Though some of his actions come off a tad villainous, he has good intentions at heart.

 

RavenclawPrincess Lucia

Lucia is intelligent and quiet. She values education over frivolous things. She always has her face in a book trying to find out more about her elemental powers and she is guided by her thoughts and actions.

 

HufflepuffJonas

Jonas is extremely loyal to his band of rebels and friends. Even though he makes a lot of careless mistakes, they are all with good intentions to save his friends from trouble. He works hard and is dedicated to his cause.

 

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

Gryffindor

Aelin (Celaena)

Aelin is a brave heroine. She has the nerve to take what rightfully belongs to her, and dares to be ruthless. Her tactics may be bit Slytherin, but ultimately I think Gryffindor is the best fit for her character.

 

Ravenclaw

Dorian

Our resident prince Dorian has mountains of books. He is intelligent and witty. He values knowledge over power and would definitely belong in Ravenclaw. I wouldn’t mind spending some time in his personal library!

 

Hufflepuff

Chaol

Chaol, our special little snowflake. He is extremely loyal to Dorian. So much so, that I think he would even give his life for him. He is also a hard worker. Being the youngest captain of the guard must have been difficult to obtain without hard work!

 

Slytherin

Rowan

Rowan, the sexy fae warrior. He is strong and cunning. He has big ambitions for himself and Aelin and will do anything to achieve them. Even if it’s at the expense of someone else.

 

Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

Gryffindor

Katniss

Katniss is the epitome of selfless and brave. She volunteered to possibly get herself killed in the Hunger Games to save her little sister from that fate. While playing the game, she was daring and courageous. She did what she had to save herself and the few friends she made along the way.

Hufflepuff

Peeta

Peeta, so sweet. He holds the most qualities with Hufflepuff. He is loyal and patient, especially when it comes to the rash decisions of Katniss. He is also hard working when it comes to doing the right thing.

 

Slytherin

Gale

Gale, I never really liked that guy. I find him to be cunning but slimy. I don’t find his ambitions to be good and I get the strong feelings that he only cares for Katniss and would do anything, even villainous acts to get her.

 

The Grisha Trilogy

Shadow and Bone

Hufflepuff

Alina

Alina, the sun summoner. I found her to be a very docile protagonist. She is loyal to her friends, family and country. She is selfless and hard working, even at the expense of her out health and safety. She is also easily manipulated.

 

Hufflepuff

Mal

Mal, the boring. Honestly Hufflepuff is unlucky to have him. I will say he is extremely loyal to Alina, and Alina alone. Everything he does is with her in mind, and he works really hard at it.

 

Gryffindor

Nikolai

Nikolai is the brave Prince of Ravka. He is smart, cunning, courageous, and selfless. All these qualities will make him into an even better King in the future. Did I mention he’s smooth with the ladies?

 

Slytherin

The Darkling

The Darkling is Slytherin to the T. Cunning, mischievous, ambitious, and ruthless. I could totally see him being Harry’s rival more so then Draco. The Darkling and all his qualities and actions make him perfect for the Slytherin House!

 

Six of Crows

Six of Crows

Ravenclaw

Kaz

Kaz Brekker is the intelligent leader of our band of unlikely heroes. His is calculating, and witty. He is always thinking two steps ahead which I believe is perfect for the Ravenclaw House. Although he holds some Slytherin qualities, I can see the Sorting Hat choosing Ravenclaw instead!

Hufflepuff

Inej

Inej the loyal follower of Kaz. She would never cross him unless it was for his own good. She thinks of others before herself. Inej is also very hard working. She didn’t get to where she is today without it.

 

Gryffindor

Nina

Nina is brave and rash. She dares to test the limits of her powers and especially her relationship with Matthias. She is also a very proud person. All qualities perfect for Gryffindor.

 

Gryffindor

Matthias

Matthias the quiet one. He is calm, cool and collected. He has bravery like no one else. He is very prideful and is reluctant to admit when he is wrong. But deep beneath those hard layers he has a heart of gold!

 

Slytherin

Jesper

Jesper the gambler. He is extremely cunning. He would cheat and gamble is way out of any situation. But he also takes care of his friends too. Outside of gambling, he has big ambitions for his life. For those reasons I can see him being sorted into Slytherin.

 

HufflepuffWylan

Wylan is the docile one of the group. He is quiet and hard working. Even though his father abandoned him, he still knows how to be loyal to his new friends. And because of his illiteracy, he is extremely patient.

 

The Lunar Chronicles

Cinder

Gryffindor

Cinder

Cinder is brave and daring. She goes out of her way to take care of her new friends and ensures safe travels. Although she is special, she doesn’t hold that above anything else. She is modest but proud.

 

Ravenclaw

Prince Kai

Prince Kai is intelligent and calculating. Everything he does is well thought out and he takes the proper measures to make sure all goes well. Growing up a prince, he is very well educated and values his knowledge on foreign affairs.

 

Gryffindor

Scarlet

Scarlet is a daring farm girl. When her grandmother goes missing she doesn’t hesitate to go find her. She jumps into dangerous situations with utmost bravery. She cares for others before herself!

 

Gryffindor

Wolf

Wolf is strong and brave. He cares for Scarlet and will do anything to ensure her safety. He is very proud and doesn’t let his past affect his decision making.

 

Hufflepuff

Cress

Cress is quiet, but hard working. She remains loyal to those she finds worthy. She is dedicated to the tasks at hand just as much as she is dedicated to her friends. All qualities worthy of the Hufflepuff house!

 

Gryffindor

Captain Thorne

Captain Thorne is the epitome of Gryffindor. He is brave and daring. He is prideful and very dignified. He lives and breathes accomplishments. He is not afraid to jump into dangerous situations and is a perfect fit for this house.

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Hufflepuff

Feyre

Feyre is easily manipulated. But that doesn’t take away from her undying loyalty to the ones she deems worthy and good. She is also very hard working. Especially when her family was broke and hungry, she would hunt day and night to provide for them.

 

Slytherin

Tamlin

Tamlin is cunning but not in a good way. He is very bossy and stands his ground. If things don’t go his way he lashes out.He doesn’t think too far beyond himself and has high ambitions for his court.

 

Slytherin

Rhysand

Rhysand is cunning, but in a good way this time. He has rightful reasons behind his actions. He is coy and mischievous and his ambitions reach beyond the clouds and stars.

 


Don’t forget to check out all the other Potterhead July posts here! I hope you enjoyed my little sorting ceremony. Do you agree with any of my picks? Where would you place your favorite characters? I would love to know!

Until next time,

Sig New

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